Inter-American Cultural Diplomacy in WWII


Darlene J. Sadlier investigates how the U.S. used cultural diplomacy to promote “hemispheric solidarity” during the Second World War in her new book Americans All: Good Neighbor Cultural Diplomacy in World War II. During this era, the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs employed film, radio, media, and art to convince Americans of the importance of Latin American relations, and to explain to Latin Americans that the U.S. sincerely valued its southern neighbors. Sadlier shows that WWII truly was global, with soft battlefields expanding beyond the war’s military footprint.

CPD University Fellow Nicholas J. Cull praised the book:

“In an era in which culture plays an unprecedented role in foreign policy, Darlene Sadlier has provided a remarkable study of how cultural diplomacy worked in the past. Americans All is an invaluable study of the massive cultural diplomacy campaign undertaken by the USA to woo Latin America during the Second World War. Meticulously researched and engagingly written, the book presents us with the best and the worst of this fascinating enterprise and in so doing provides both a unique window on inter-American relations and an invaluable study of the power and the limits of culture in international affairs.”

Learn more about the book here.

Darlene Sadlier | Faculty

Director of the Portuguese Program
Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Office: Ballantine Hall 806
TEL: 855-1514
Email: sadlier


Ph.D., 1977, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., 1972, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A., 1971, Kent State University


  • Brazilian and Portuguese literatures and cultures
  • Latin American cinema
  • Gender studies

Selected Publications

  • Americans All: Good Neighbor Cultural DIplomacy in World War II.
    Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012.
  • Latin American Melodrama: Passion, Pathos and Entertainment (editor and contributor). Chicago/Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2009.
  • Brazil Imagined: 1500 to the Present. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.
  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2003.
  • An Introduction to Fernando Pessoa: Modernism and the Paradoxes of Authorship. Gainvesville: University of Florida Press, 1998. Selected by Choice as one of the outstanding academic titles of 1998. Reviewed by W.S. Merwin in The New York Review of Books, December 3, 1999: 41-43. Other reviews appeared in Choice, International Review of Modernism, South Atlantic Quarterly, Luso-Brazilian Review, Portuguese Studies Review, World Literature Today.
  • One Hundred Years After Tomorrow: Brazilian Women’s Fiction in the Twentieth Century. (Edited and translated with an introduction and bio-bibliographical notes.) Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992. Reviews appeared in The Washington Post, Luso-Brazilian Review, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, etc.
  • The Question of How: Women Writers and New Portuguese Literature. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.
    Reviewed in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Revista Hispánica Moderna, Choice, Luso-Brazilian Review, Portuguese Studies, Romance Quarterly, etc.
  • Cecília Meireles e João Alphonsus. Brasília: Editora Quicé, 1984.
  • Indiana Journal of Hispanic Literatures 9 (1996). Special issue on Fernando Pessoa. Co-edited with Heitor Martins.

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Faculty Award, College of Arts & Sciences, 2012-2103
  • First-place in Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs international competition for best work on Graciliano Ramos, 2009.
  • Fulbright Postdoctoral Lecture and Research Scholarship (Brazil), 1994
  • Andrew Mellon Grant, 1990
  • Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Scholarship (Portugal), 1986
  • NEH Summer Research Fellowship, 1984
  • Lilly Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship, 1983-84